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Loving Luther by Allison Pittman: A Book Review

Loving Luther
Author: Allison Pittman
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: 2017
Pages: 431 
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Germany, 1505

     In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

     Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

     In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

      My Review: Loving Luther tells the story of Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina. Katharina comes from a noble but impoverished family. Because the family has fallen on hard times, it is difficult for them to keep Katharina. When she was six years old, they sent her to a nunnery. Katharina has no choice but to become a nun. One day, she happens to read the preachings of Martin Luther and begins to question her life. She decides to escape the nunnery with a few of her fellow nuns. Martin Luther finds her and tries to find a husband for her. Eventually, Katharina realizes that she wants no man to be her husband except for Martin Luther.

   I have read Katharina and Luther by Jody Hedlund. However, I believe that this novel has made Katharina more realistic and down to earth. In this novel, Katharina is very vulnerable and uncertain. She questions if she is doing the right thing. She realizes that even though she is no longer constrained to a nunnery, she still feels isolated. She is bound by the rules and expectations of society. Thus, I could sympathize with her plight and hope that she finds happiness as she navigates the outside world. I also loved her relationship with Martin Luther. The two of them started out as friends, then it gradually became more. He was very sympathetic and always helped her when she needed it. Therefore, their love story was very sweet.

  Overall, this novel is about love, friendship, and choices. I thought that all the characters were well-developed except for Luther. There were many moments that I did not understand his motivations. There were some moments that really dragged, especially with Katharina’s life in the convent. Also, the book suffered from too much telling too little showing. Still, I liked how it was focused on Katharina’s life before she married Luther. I recommend this novel for not only those interested in Martin Luther, but also those who want to read about the women behind great men.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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